Office of the President

November 21, 2018 – Campus Reopens Monday, November 26

To: Faculty and Staff
From: President Gayle Hutchinson

From the early morning hours of November 8, the North State has been tested by unprecedented challenges after the Camp Fire struck our communities.

Thousands are still displaced or sheltering loved ones, and many of our Wildcats experienced the devastation of the fire firsthand, including more than 230 students, faculty, and staff who lost their homes. All of us need the support and empathy that has always made Chico State a strong and a caring community—one that will grow even stronger as we help one another, our family members, friends, and neighbors to rebuild and recover in the months and years.

Throughout this time, the University has taken careful measure of the ways this natural disaster has disrupted the lives of our students, faculty, staff. We all know resuming classes after an unexpected week away combined with the fall break and amid the loss that many of us are feeling and experiencing, will present challenges. The provost and I have provided specific guidance to our faculty members, who I would like to thank for adjusting their courses and helping all of us complete fall semester as planned.

On Monday, November 26, classes will resume as scheduled. When you and your fellow students, faculty, and staff members return to campus, I hope you will join me as we begin a new chapter of gratitude and resilience at Chico State.

We will reopen the Wildcats Rise Care and Resources Center in the Bell Memorial Union at 8:30 a.m.Monday to provide emotional support and information to anyone who is struggling after the fires. California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White and I will give brief remarks at 9 a.m. The center is a one-stop shop for housing information, academic advising, financial assistance, and other important services. You’ll find Wildcats who can answer your questions about financial aid, leaves, basic needs assistance, and ongoing support, and point to community resources for helping with insurance and other questions. Serving as a drop-in center, it will stay open until 5 p.m. and people can stop by at any time to access its services or gather as a community. 

The Wildcats Rise Care and Resources Center will also offer free counseling services throughout the day. Psychological counseling services continue to be available during the closure and beyond through the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-367-7474 or (password: csuchico). Students may access the Counseling and Wellness Center during the closure at 530-898-6345. The CWC will resume its regular office hours on November 26, open to students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday in Student Services Center, Room 430.

Our Camp Fire website provides a number of additional resources, including answers to frequently asked questions.

To prepare for campus reopening on Monday, major efforts are underway by Facilities Management and Services. The FMS team started this week, and will continue through the weekend, with changing air filters, cleaning intake units, dusting horizontal surfaces, and clearing entranceways of ash and debris both inside and out.

I want to take a moment to thank the many employees who have been working during the closure to ensure the safety of our campus community in spite of the challenges they faced in their personal lives. Like other people in Butte County, some of our Emergency Operations Center workers, FMS crew, University Police staff, and other essential personnel have been evacuated and some lost homes to the fire, but many have come to work anyway to make this campus safe for all of us and care for others who are impacted. I express my sincerest thanks to all who have worked throughout this crisis for sharing your time and talent with us.

This is only the beginning of our recovery. As Wildcats, when any one of us is impacted, we are all impacted. Amid the most devastating disaster I have ever witnessed, I still see hope and am confident we will rebuild not only our structures but our spirit. This is only the beginning and we will be here for you all along the way. Together, Wildcats rise.